Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Pic 1 is the start from behind the Saracen right.
Pic 2 shows how the battle developed.
Pic 3 shows the Tigers being surrounded.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Turn 4 about to start
The campaign phase between turns 3 & 4 has been completed.
The Russians were somewhat restricted in what they could do because their failure to take Orsha made a big gap in their rail network. They made a general move west on the whole front with a concentration pointing at the all important Minsk.
The Germans were restricted in what they could do by Partisan activity and Russian exploitation moves almost closing up the pocket between Minsk & Bobruisk. They pulled back from Zholbin & strengthened the Minsk garison.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
The pic is taken behind the Saracen right while the main forces are still slugging it out.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Finally (on the 14th attempt!) the Germans won the Firestorm Initiative roll for the first time & Steve attacked Berezina from Osipovichi.
Sunday at Barrie's (from our Acton correspondant)
The Russians today won a 3 nil victory in Lepel
The Germans deployed with a medium Bty, Sturm Pl and HMG Pl on the left and PAK 40s and a three gun Field Bty in the centre with a second Sturm Pl, AA and Stugs on the right.
These were face by a Russian Gods Bty and two Strelk Coys facing the German Left a Medium Bty and a Tankovy Coy of T34/76s in the Centre and a third Strelk Coy plus T34/85 against the German right.
The Germans won the first turn and dug in everything except the Mdm Bty, they also advanced on the right with the Stugs and AA causing several casualties on the Russian Strelk on that flank.
The initial German aggression caused some consternation which soon turned to joy as the Russian Airforce arrived and took out one of the Stugs in the Russian first turn despite the proximity of the AA Pl (three planes helps!)
The second turn saw ineffective firing by the German Artillery and a Russian Infantry attack mauled by the massed HMGs on the German Left, the German Paks in the centre also destroyed two of the T34/76s.
Subsequent turns saw the Russians withdraw and go to ground on the German Left while a a long range fire fight in the centre was distinctively beneficial to the Pak 40s. The Stugs had been using a low hill to advantage on the right popping up shooting at the T34s in the centre and then storm troopering back out of site. Then disaster in one turn the Stugs failed their Storm Trooper move and were subsequently blown away by the Soviet tank horde in the centre, the Sturmoviks arrived again in numbers and destroyed two of the three AA with the T34/85s disposing of the third AA.
This left one Storm Pl supported by Paks in the centre but with restricted arcs of fire due to a low ridge to face the combined might of a Strelk Coy supported by a T34/85 Firestorm Troop and he the remainder of theTankovy Coy which had abandoned its central approach and moved to the German right flank.
Eventually the Strelk Coy on the German right was able to seize the right hand objective and pass numerous moral tests for under half strength to win the game. In the end there were only three teams out of an original 27 who proudly flew the Hammer and Sicle over the Objective while the much vaunted Russian Armour skulked out of line of site of the Pak40s. So a decisive Russian Victory.
The Russians had Stormoviks and T34/85s as Firestorm troops the Germans had none.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Barrie: Spevverband 2,000 pts + FS Tigers & Panzergrenadiers. Rolled 5 for Out Of Supply so no penalty.
Leigh: Motostrelkovy 2,000 pts + FS Sturmos & Heavy Artillery.
6x6 table Free For All Mission.
The Germans had 2 Tigers as well as the 2 FS Tigers, otherwise, the usual stuff.
The Russians had a normal battery + a heavy battery, 2 Strelk & 10 T34s as well as FS Heay Batt & Sturms.
Both sides adopted a cautious approach, digging in at the start. The ony advance was on the Russian left where both sides sent infnatry forward into a large village. There was a bit of sniping of T34s by the Tigers who popped some before they the rest hid behind the village. Meanwhile the Russians artillery & air tried to soften up the Germans - causing intermittant, but ultimately significant losses. The Russians attacked in the village. They pinned the German infnatry with SMG & flamethrowers reducing the Germans to 11 dice. But the Germans managed 10 hits at 3+ to stop them. The Ivans unpinned & tried again - another 10 hits from 11 dice stopped them again. The Ivans unpinned again & charged a third time. This time they killed a couple with prep fire & with 9 dice the Germans couldn't stop them charging home. The Germans were overwhealmed & the Russians took the village.
The German objective was now only 30cm away from the Strelk but it was after 11 oclock - the agree finishing time so the battle was a timed out draw.
The Germans had lost 2 platoons, infantry in the village & 2 Tigers to air & art, the Russians had lost no platoons so VPs were 3:1.
The Firestorm dice were low so no Firestorm casuaties & with a draw both side retain their own starting areas.
Jim's Tankovy attacking from Rudina v. Richard's Spevverband in Vitebsk.
Encounter Mission, 1500 points on 6x4 table.
German Firestorm Troops: Pioneers.
Germans were out of supply & dropped to 1200 pts + F/S but had Festerplatz defences.
The minefields & wire caused the Russians to take it slowly, deploying Sappers, SMG, Heavy Art & Rockets with the armour in reserve.
The Germans deployed Paks, 88s & 2 infantry, with 105s, Hetzers & 2 more infantry in reserve.
The terrain was pretty close with hills, woods & villages restricting lines of sight.
With disadvantages of numbers it was a difficult task for Richard. The Soviet command took no chances and systematically used their numbers to grind the Germans down, winning by Army Morale Test.
Saturday, May 09, 2009
2000 points Cauldron on 8x6 desert table, Ities defending.
Rich was content to sit tight while gathering his forces before attacking. 3 Infantry & an HMG deployed around the Cauldron waiting for 8x25pdrs, Valentines, Matildas, 2x4 2pdrs & the RAF.
The Ities in the Cauldron (2 inf, HMG & 4x75's kept their heads down waiting for the cavalry to arrive 2x5M14, 6L6, 4 Semo47's & 4 Semo76's.
The cavalry came on in a rush. The L6s doubled towards the 25pdrs on their left, the M14's charged the infnatry near their edge of the table & the Semos headed around the right to support the Cauldron. The L6's drew the 2pdrs to the flank away from the action. The M14's & the infantry mutally destructed. The Valentines attacked the line, made a hole & were then blown away by the 75's. The Matildas were then destroyed by the Semos & 75's. The Indians had to throw HMGs then 2pdrs forward to get within 40cm of the objective - only to see them mown down & the battle lost anyway.
A very enjoyable battle though, with lots of silly hats and choice of silly accents. I do love the desert & it's the best place for the Cauldron Mission.
Friday, May 08, 2009
Mark put in a pretty good attack. The line of minefields & wire was a real problem - especially when the sappers got pinned down by mortars & stayed that way. But he cleared most of the defence with tank fire & pressed on ove rthe wire. Enough tanks got through to take the objective, but the Germans blew them back off it, mostly with their artillery which had deployed out of reserve. The Soviets took it again, but again got blown away & this time failed army morale. A 5:2 victory for Germany & the heroic Vitebsk garrison held off the third attack on them.
The first pic shows the wall of Ivans line dup for the attack, the second shows the burning wrecks around the objective.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Mission: Cauldron with Festerplatz defence.
Firestorm Troops: Soviets - 2 Artillery, Germans - Pioneers.
The Cauldron was ringed with minefields & minefields defended by a Sperr Inf, a Sperr Pioneer, a Pioneer & 2 88's. The Germans had Stugs, Hetzers, 105's, Sperr & Mortars in reserve.
The Russians put their 2 Firestorm heavy batteries & their Sappers on the table with T34s, Shermans & Honeys (10 each) in reserve.
The Soviet sappers cleared the minefield where it passed thru a village & formed up the Honeys to charge through, but the Stugs came on, fired down the road & the road became blocked with a pile of burning Honeys. So the sappers had to get to work clearing another minefield as the Shermans & T34s tried to supress the German fire on them. The Germans 105's & Hetzers arrived a bit late, but soon made their presence felt destroying the Shermans & making a hole in the T34s. But the Soviet artillery was making a big difference - for a change. They had popped the 88's early on & evetually 2 Stugs, 2 105's & 2 Hetzers as well. James had belatedly realised that the shit fight wasn't right place for the Honeys & they swept around the German's left to finish off the 105's. The T34/85's finally finsihed off the Hetzers, then the last pesky Stug. This left the Germans in a hopeless position. The Soviets could just stand back & blast away until the Germans' failed Coy Morale & there was nothing the Germans could do as they had with no artillery or Armour or anti-tank left.
The battle looked a hard ask for the Germans, but as always they are tougher than they look. RIchard put up a good fight & the Stugs & Hetzers almost turned the game. In the end it was the Soviet artillery that won the day (good Firestorm choice by James). It was a 4:3 victory for the Soviets & Bobruisk falls. The Firestorm rolls lost the Soviets one of their Artillery, the German Pioneers retreated to Osipovichi. The Soviets can move their surving Art plus up to 3 other 4 Firestorm troops from Berizena to Bobruisk.
The Mission is quite different from the typical in that you accumulate a VP by holding an objective at the start of your turn. There are 6 objective - 2 on each side & 2 in no mans land. Support troops are separated from the Coys and combined, so in this case we each had effectively 3 Coys - Tank, Infantry & Support. The battle ends either at an aggreed time or when one side hads lost all the Coys or all but 1 Coy & all the support platoons.
The Russians attacked with armour on the left, Staff in centre & Strelk on the right. The Russian armour won through to the objective, but just 4 Hetzers supporting the infantry made it a costly & time consuming exercise.
The straff took their objective before being slaughted by HMGs as usual.
The Russian attack on the right went pretty weel fro a while, but German counterattack by grenadiers & Panzers stoped it and the Germans took both objectives on that flank. But Russian reserves in a town stopped further advance.
Back on the Russian left, the Tankovy finally disposed of the pesky Hetzers & were able to turn right and meet the Panzer counterattack.
At the start the Russians gained objectives & accumulated an advantage in VPs, but the Germans counterattacks reversed the match & they caught up & got in front. As we had all day to fight & neither side really got on top, the battle degenerated a bit at the end with both sides all but destroyed. The germans did finally fail morale after about 5 hours, but if their ahd been a time limit, it's anybody's guess who would have been in front when the bell went. Pretty much a draw really.
Saturday, May 02, 2009
Two Sperr Platoons in the front line with just 105s in support looked a bit lonely when the swarm of T34s, Shermans, Strelk, Straff & Pioneers started forward with rockets flying overhead. But they did throw a 5 for out of supply so it had no effect), were entrenched with a good line of wire & minefields & a Pak ambush to help. The Sappers got pinned by artillery & didn't unpin for 3 turns The tanks tried to cross the minefields, lost some, but got enough across to assault on both flanks. On the left the Shermans drove the infantry back, but their commander got left on the minefield & they became pillboxes. On the right the T34's also drove the infantry back, but then Stugs & Hetzers from reserve plus the Paks destroyed them.
The Straff reached the minefields and were steadily slaughtered as they failed to lift it. This distracted the Germans long enough for the Sappers & Strelk to come up. The Strelk made a gap in the minefield & charged. They drove a Stug off the objective but were repelled by the infantry counterattack - though the German infantry then failed morale. But the Russian attack had run out of steam, their last 3 Sappers, 1 Sherman, commander & the rocket battery (less 1 truck) got away. The battle was a 5:2 victory for the Germans, but they threw 1's for Firestorm casulaties and none were lost by either side.
Pic taken from behind Germans. The Shermans are on the right. On the left the T34s have been destroyed, the Straff are hung up on the minefield, the Sappers pinned down left rear & the Strelk waiting their turn centre rear.
The Germans had the usual small army of desperadoes armed to the teeth with HMGs, Pak 40s & Panzerthingies, plus Heavy Artillery over the Volga. Then they threw a 6 for the out of supply dice & became fearless. It was agreed that the Mission would be a Not One Step Back city fight (for a change). The city fight table is only 4'x3' so 32 pts of fortifications went a long way.
The Russians were fortunate to get the first turn and the sappers were up to the minefields at the start and made some gaps. The KVs & Straff headed for the RH objective & the big Strelk + SUs headed for the LH objective. The rest of the army couldn't fit in the front line. The T34/85s were deployed hull down on a hill on the right with a good field of fire to take on the Paks. The KVs were beaten off by the Pioneers with 1 killed by Paks, 1 bogged & 1 killed by the Pionners failed morale & disappeared. The Straff took over the attack & died to the last man but just couldn't get there.
On the other flank the Paks knocked off the SUs before the T34's got them all, but the big Strelk worked its way forward & actually got to the objective, but the Germans had an occupied trench line behind occupied to dispute it. The T34/85s had finished their work on the Paks, but were too far back to help much & the Strelk were blown off the objective by HMGs & heavy artillery.
But the fascists were incapable of attacking the Russian objectives so the battle was a draw. The Russians lost 3 platoons to the German's 1, so VPs were 2:0 (Desperate Battle rule). No Firestorm Troop casualty dice was required. But the Fascists still hold Vitebsk.
Pic from behind Russian line at the start.